With a record amount of potential hurricanes looming out in the Atlantic, it’s so important now more than ever to be prepared at home before any named storm makes landfall. We know that those cones of uncertainty can be, well, uncertain, but we also know for certain that these hurricane prep tips are the best way to minimize potential damage and maximize your safety before disaster strikes.

  1. Keep your eyes and ears on the NOAA Weather radio and website, as well as local news channel updates, if a major storm is coming, focusing on the five-day weather outlook. You’ll also need to abide by any evacuation requirements for your area.
  2. Get water! The early bird catches the worm, so get ahead of the mad rush and pick up a few cases of water at the grocery store that you’ll need for drinking, cooking, brushing your teeth and washing.
  3. Document. Grab your camera (or phone) and take pictures of your entire property, including the mailbox and driveway, your home’s exterior, the HVAC condenser, windows, roof, every room of your home’s interior, furniture, and contents of the fridge.
  4. Seal your insurance policy and other important and family documents (i.e., legal papers, birth certificates, marriage license) tight in a clear Ziploc bag.
  5. Download weather tracking and weather-related apps. We highly recommend the FEMA app and Smart911, which immediately gives the dispatcher critical info. Be sure to also fully charge your cell phone.
  6. Secure your home’s exterior. Bring all of your patio furniture, sculptures, outdoor artwork and flower pots inside; trim large trees and shrubs; and install storm shutters on doors and skylights or nail pieces of plywood to the window frames.
  7. Move things up. Just in case any water gets into the house, move any items of value at least 12 inches to the ground to a higher level or shelf. At the same time, make sure all your wall hangings and artwork are secure and make notes about any existing damage.
  8. Car prep. You’ll also want to move your cars to higher ground; avoid parking them under trees, power lines and low-lying areas. And fill your car’s gas tank! (Gas prices are fairly normal up until the day before the hurricane is expected to make landfall.)
  9. Emergency kit prep. If the electricity goes out, this will be critical. Pack a bag or suitcase with water, flashlights, portable radio, 12-hour glow sticks, extra batteries, blankets, cash, clothing, toiletries and non-perishable food.
  10. If you’re staying… Decide on a shelter room on the first floor in a central part of the house that doesn’t have any windows. Stay away from unprotected windows and doors.
  11. If you’re evacuating … Finish up prep by unplugging appliances and moving them away from exterior doors and windows, storing small appliances in cabinets or on a pantry shelf, and turning off all utilities.

To schedule an appointment with one of our agents at Sands Realty Group, visit us at email us at briggs@sands-realty.com or call us at 843-839-4878.